Several high profile matchups for northeast Georgia area teams lived up to their hype Friday night.
Buford battled the defending Class 7A state champion, Milton, down to the wire and held on to win 26-23 in an instant-classic. Meanwhile, Flowery Branch took care of business in Athens with a 38-0 shutout win over Class 6A Clarke Central at the iconic Billy Henderson Stadium.
Two punishing ground attacks went toe-to-toe in Hartwell with Hart County pulling away to beat Commerce 40-20 while North Hall's bid to knock off Class 7A Cherokee for a second consecutive season came up short in a 24-7 loss in Canton.
In some area border wars, Habersham Central got is first win of the season holding off White County 42-28; Union County routed Towns County 60-7 in Blairsville, and Cherokee Bluff denied Johnson three straight wins and picked up its first-ever victory in a blowout 37-7 win at nearby Bears Stadium.
East Jackson improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2009 with a 30-7 win over Oglethorpe County; Gainesville found its passing game and rebounded from a loss last week to beat Class 7A Lambert 55-7 in Suwanee, and West Hall's tough start continued with a 62-7 loss Jefferson on the road. Jackson County used its defense to get its second shutout win of the season beating Lumpkin County 31-0 in Jefferson.
East Hall's offense was striking fast in the first half and held off a furious charge from Woodland, Cartersville in the second to pick up its first win of the season, 34-28, at home. Lanier Christian Academy knocked off Holy Spirit Prep, 36-13, at home.
FRIDAY SEPT. 6, SCORES
Buford 26, Milton 23
Cherokee 24, North Hall 7
Cherokee Bluff 37, Johnson 7
East Hall 34, Woodland, Cartersville 28
East Jackson 30, Oglethorpe County 7
Flowery Branch 38, Clarke Central 0
Gainesville 55, Lambert 7
Habersham Central 42, White County 28
Hart County 40, Commerce 20
Jackson County 31, Lumpkin County 0
Jefferson 62, West Hall 7
Lanier Christian Academy 36, Holy Spirit Prep 13
Union County 60, Towns County 7